We began our Summer of Sonnets on Saturday with great fanfare. We cooked dinner together, and I printed out individual copies of Sonnet 1. We sat down at our usual spots while I read from my large leather bound Complete Works. To an audience of three I read:
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.
“So…what the heck does that mean?” I asked.
To my amazement they dug right in. They tried to extrapolate meaning from individual phrases, “I think ‘beauty’s rose might never die’ might mean not wanting that person’s beauty to go away.” My 13 year old sounded like he should be holding a PBR and wearing black framed glasses. Color me impressed.
I lead them quatrain by quatrain through the poem until we came up with this translation. “OMG you are so hot I wanna have like ten thousand of your babies.” Don’t judge, we’re doing Shakespeare at dinner, this fact alone is enough for me.
I asked the five-year old, “So would this work for you? Like a love poem?”
“Nope.” She said. “If somebody wants to marry me and they say this to me, I would not marry them.”
“Because I’m not going to marry someone just because they say things.” Translation- it’s going to take more than words to win me over. +Parenting
“What will it take?” I asked.
“I only want to marry someone if I love them and that person loves me.” She said. “It’s like you and daddy. You liked him, and he liked you, and you agreed to get married. This is how I want to get married.” Translation–I want to get married because we’re both in love with each other. ++Parenting
Sonnet 2 was a little less planned. It was late, and we’d all had a lazy day. I’d made a hasty dinner of linguine with pesto far a jar, and some Costco chicken meatballs. We were trying to decide if we were going to even read before bed, when the little suddenly remembered, “We forgot the sonnet!” ::swoon::
I read this one from the book directly, and at first we had the same issue as the day before. No one knew what the heck we’d read:
When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.
The little tried it first. “I think when it said ‘beauty lies’ it means that beautiful things aren’t true.” Yeah. She’s five. Wuuuut.
Line by line we went through it again, until we finally came up with this translation: “Dude, the only way to keep yourself from caring that you’re old and ugly is to have a kid to pass on your good looks.”
We all agreed that this was probably the worst way to woo any of us, but sounded more like a pair of dudes talking to each other.
Summer Camp Day 1 was supposed to begin today, but we learned that bringing in more stuff is impossible when there is nowhere to put it. The truth is that I think I did pretty well this year as a new mother of two, but I was nothing close to prepared for the whirlwind of end of the year concerts, club meetings, and culminating ceremonies that left me with lots of no time to clean. Today was the day to remove the papers we’d shoved in every open crevice, sort them and dispose of them. It was the time to remove all the clutter crammed in the bookshelves, and reveal the ::gasp:: books beneath them. We are exactly halfway through the cleaning today, so tomorrow will likely be more of the same. –Planning Ahead
Stay tuned for more of the Summer of Sonnets (S.O.S.), and the planning phases of our Summer Camp at Home.